NIVEL Primary Care Database

Important changes in the timing of influenza epidemics in Western and Eastern Europe

A study carried out by Nivel and published in Eurosurveillance has found that the timing of influenza epidemics has changed in Europe over the last 20 years. These findings have important implications for influenza vaccination programmes in the region. Climate change and/or changes in population movement may be underlying factors that explain these developments.

Dutch citizens: data protection must allow for health research

NIVEL research shows that Dutch citizens are willing to share their data for health research. This is an important finding as within the European Union a draft regulation (the General Data Protection Regulation, GDPR) to harmonise data protection is being negotiated. This regulation may have serious consequences for health research.

Psychological problems in adolescents negatively affect school performance

Psychosocial problems affect adolescents’ school performance more than physical health problems, which have little effect on this. Researchers from the Netherlands Institute for Health Services Research (NIVEL), the Academic Medical Center in Amsterdam (AMC), and the National Institute for Public Health and the Environment (RIVM) have shown that thirteen-year-olds who wet their bed and adolescents with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) get poorer grades and leave secondary school without a diploma more often than adolescents with a physical condition such as diabetes or asthma. The researchers have published their findings in BMC Public Health.

Standardised framework for protecting privacy when doing research with patient data

Data collected in health care are an important source for research and policy. However, rules for protecting privacy vary from country to country. A lack of a standardised framework has meant that discussions on this could quickly lead to confusion. An international consortium has now developed such a framework. It is described in an article in the International Journal of Medical Informatics. The researchers expect it will contribute to better (international) communication on privacy protection when using health care data. The Netherlands Institute for Health Services Research (NIVEL) and the Dutch company MedLawconsult are part of the consortium.

Physiotherapists and patients positive about direct access

Even though people no longer need a referral to see a physiotherapist in the Netherlands, there has not been a sharp increase in the use of physiotherapy. Physiotherapists and patients are satisfied, and general practitioners (GPs) haven’t noticed any changes to their workload. This is contained in an article by researchers from the Netherlands Institute for Health Services Research (NIVEL). Their findings were published in the academic journal Physical Therapy.

Guideline needed for consultations on unwanted pregnancy

General practitioners (GPs) do not yet have a guideline for consultations on unwanted pregnancy. According to researchers from Rutgers WPF and the Netherlands Institute for Health Services Research (NIVEL), clear guidelines and working relationships with gynaecologists, adoption agencies, and abortion clinics could help GPs support patients in making an informed decision about whether or not to terminate the pregnancy. The researchers have published their findings in the scientific journal Family Practice. Their findings are based on research data provided to the NIVEL Primary Care Database by sentinel practices.

Psychiatric problems and substance abuse common among detainees in police custody

Twenty-eight per cent of detainees in police custody receive medical care. Of this group, half have psychological or addiction problems; substance abuse is the main reason for consulting a physician. Researchers from the Public Health Service of Amsterdam (GGD Amsterdam) and the Netherlands Institute for Health Services Research (NIVEL) have found that this kind of medical care requires forensic experience. They have published their findings in an article in the Journal of Forensic and Legal Medicine.

Overweight doctors pay little attention to obesity

General practitioners feel responsibility towards the prevention and treatment of overweight. In spite of this, many GPs - especially younger ones - only intervene when overweight in their patients has developed into obesity. And GPs who are themselves overweight or obese are less likely to refer their overweight patients for dietary advice. According to an article by researchers from the Netherlands Institute for Health Services Research (NIVEL) and VU University Amsterdam, published in the scientific journal BMC Obesity, overweight doctors pay little attention to obesity.

Patients with rheumatoid arthritis are extra sensitive to developing other chronic disorders

People with rheumatoid arthritis are at increased risk of developing other chronic disorders. So 56% of patients with rheumatoid arthritis developed another chronic disorder, such as COPD, high blood pressure, carpal tunnel syndrome or heart failure within three years after the diagnosis. In a control group the percentage was found to be 46%. This has become clear from a study by researchers from the Netherlands Institute for Health Services Research (NIVEL) which was published in the scientific journal BMC Family Practice.

Partners of cancer patients consult their GP more often than others

Partners of cancer patients consult their GP more often in the period immediately following the cancer diagnosis than they did before. The reasons for their visits are in part due to the illness of the partner, but mainly for symptoms of a somatic or psychosocial nature. This has been concluded in a publication by researchers from the Netherlands Institute for Health Services Research (NIVEL). The article has appeared in the Scandinavian Journal of Primary Health Care.

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